Atom is open source and free, produced by the people at GitHub. To introduce Atom, what can I say that they can't say for themselves?
Atom is a desktop application based on web technologies. Like other desktop apps, it has its own icon in the dock, native menus and dialogs, and full access to the file system.
So basically Atom is a code editor built on top of a browser. Meaning, as a web developer you already have all the skills needed to extend the code base, or write a custom Atom package (plugin). Due to Atom being based on a browser engine (Blink) you even have the usual Chrome developer tools available to you!
The main reasons I am trying out a new editor are:
- Ease of use - Vim is powerful but can be painful too
- Packages - Atom is easy to extend and has a large community, no Pathogen or Vundler required
- Customisation - I'm a web developer, making packages easy to write
- Teamwork - Many colleagues don't know Vim, or at least everyone has different key bindings
- Look and feel - Atom is beautiful
Some Tips for Beginners
Arguably the most attractive feature of Vim is the powerful key combinations + motions. For example, in Vim you can type
10dd to delete the next 10 lines. Atom does not have this built in, although there is of course a package for that, many of the more common combinations are available by default. A few useful ones that helped me switch are: